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Submission + - Row over US mobile phone 'cockroach backpack' app (

arisvega writes: A US company that has developed an "electronic backpack" that fits onto a cockroach allowing its movements to be controlled by a mobile phone app has defended itself against cruelty claims.

For the "electronic backpack" to work the cockroaches have to be placed in icy water to subdue them before sandpaper is used to remove the waxy coating on the shell of the insect's head.

An electrode connector and electrodes are then glued on to the insect's body and a needle is used to poke a hole in their thorax in order to insert a wire. Their antennae are then cut and electrodes are inserted. A circuit is attached to their backs, and signals are received through a mobile phone app allowing users to control the cockroaches' movements to the left and to the right.

The Roboroach weighs 4.5g and is compatible with most mobile phones. It overrides the insect's antennae making it turn left and right at the flick of a switch.

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Row over US mobile phone 'cockroach backpack' app

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Use the Force, Luke.